Cats are territorial animals. In the wild, they would use scent markers to claim territory which prevents rival cats from having to ‘fight it out’. However, in the domestic environment, strict territories are harder to determine as there can be multiple cats in one street. This can lead to cat anxiety, stress, and destructive behaviors, especially if you own an indoor cat that is unable to ward off potential intruders to their perceived territory. Just spotting another cat outside the window can cause a high level of stress which can even lead to panic attacks. But what can you do about it?
In recent years, the cat repellent product market has grown to include numerous safe and natural repellents to keep other cats out of your garden. If you have an anxious indoor cat, this could be just the thing you need to calm their stress and create a more relaxing and safe atmosphere.
What Are Cat Repellent Sprays?
Cat repellent sprays generally contain various scents that are unpleasant to cats. They are often used to keep stray cats off your property and to prevent cats from scratching your precious furniture or carpet. However, they can also be used as a weapon to calm anxious indoor cats and prevent territorial disputes between neighboring cats.
Cats generally dislike any citrus scents such as lemon, orange, and grapefruit. However, there are also numerous other scents used in cat repellent sprays such as:
- Cayenne pepper
- Aluminum sulfate
Cats have a very acute sense of smell compared to humans and it’s one of their most used forms of communication. To put this into context, cats have around 200 million scent receptors in their noses, compared to humans who have just 5-6 million receptors. For this reason, cat repellent sprays are an effective and non-harmful way to keep cats out of your garden.
Let’s now run through the best cat repellent sprays on the market today.
1. Best Overall: NaturVet Off Limits Training Spray
The NaturVet Off Limits Training Spray contains a mixture of natural herb extracts that cats find unpleasant. It can be used on all surfaces as it doesn’t stain, including patios, grass, plant beds, fences, and outdoor furniture.
NaturVet has been a leader in the pet industry since 1994 and all of their products are made in a cGMP-compliant facility in the US. This means that they meet or exceed all safety standards of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice guidelines that are set by the Food and Drug Administration.
The NaturVet Off Limits Training Spray is easy to apply and should last for up to 3 days if it doesn’t snow or rain. If this happens, a re-spray may be needed.
- Natural ingredients
- Non-staining water-based formula
- Safe to be used on plants and grass
- Should not be sprayed onto edible plants
- Scent can be overpowering
2. Best Budget: Four Paws Keep Off! Cat Repellent Spray
Each application of the Four Paws Keep Off! Cat Repellent Spray lasts for around 24 hours to deter cats from your garden. This product can be used both indoors and outdoors and does not leave stains.
The Four Paws Keep Off! Cat Repellent Spray is safe to use near plants and is suitable for cats of all ages.
This product has a great low price but the manufacturer does not list all of the ingredients on the bottle which is something that you should be wary of.
- Low price
- Does not stain
- Safe to be used around plants and grass
- Needs to be applied daily for best results
- Product has a strong chemical smell
3. Nature’s Mace Cat Repellent Spray
The Nature’s Mace Cat Repellent Spray comes in either a concentrated formula that needs to be diluted or a convenient pre-diluted spray bottle. This product is proven to be highly effective at repelling cats yet the scent is very mild to humans.
One bottle of the pre-diluted Nature’s Mace Cat Repellent Spray can cover up to 1,000sq feet of outdoor space and is safe to use around children and plants.
The manufacturers of this project suggest you spray it liberally and daily for the first 10 days, then, spray weekly. For flower beds, there is also a dry granular pelleted version.
- Natural ingredients and biodegradable
- Weather-resistant formula
- Some owners dislike the egg smell of this product
- Concentrated version of this product needs to be diluted otherwise it can kill off plants and grass
4. Colton’s Naturals Cat Repellent Spray
The Colton’s Naturals Cat Repellent Spray is made from natural peppermint and citronella oil, which are both scents that are effective at repelling cats. Spray liberally over your garden and then use every 2-4 weeks to keep cats away permanently.
The Colton’s Natural Cat Repellent Spray is safe to use around children, other pets, and plants. It’s also safe to use around nursing mothers. However, the amount in the bottle can run out quickly because you need to spray a lot for the first couple of applications.
- Organic, natural ingredients
- Safe to use around pets, children, and nursing mothers
- Product runs out quickly
5. Hapipet Cat Deterrent Spray
The Hapipet Cat Deterrent Spray formula is derived from natural plant extracts and citrus scents. So, it’s effective at deterring unwanted felines from your property. This product can be used both indoors and outdoors and it’s safe to use on plants.
The Hapipet Cat Deterrent Spray needs to be sprayed 4 times a day for the first 2 weeks, then as needed. It’s important to mention that this product can cause diarrhea and vomiting if ingested so use it with caution.
- Natural ingredients
- Can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested
- Needs to be sprayed regularly
6. Bodhi Dog 3 in 1 Cat & Kitten Training Aid Repellent Spray
The Bodhi Dog 3 in 1 Cat & Kitten Training Aid Repellent Spray is a bitter-tasting and smelling product that works well at deterring cats.
It’s safe to use on most surfaces including furniture and plants. The company, located in Texas, also uses sustainable ingredients and socially responsible practices including locally sourced ingredients and animal cruelty-free production, as well as recyclable packaging.
The Bodhi Dog 3 in 1 Cat & Kitten Training Aid Repellent Spray should be sprayed at least once every 24 hours until the unwanted behavior has been corrected. It also comes in a wide range of sizes from 8oz bottles to gallon refills.
- Mild rosemary scent
- Only suitable for kittens and cats over the age of 12 weeks
- Needs to be reapplied frequently
DIY Cat Repellent Spray
Can’t afford to invest in a commercial cat repellent spray? Luckily, you can easily make your own with a few simple ingredients.
Here are a few options for you to try:
1. Citrus and Pepper Cat Deterrent Spray
Mix crushed garlic, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and dry mustard into a base of lemon essential oil. If the lemon scent is too strong, you can also consider using an orange or grapefruit base.
2. Rosemary Cat Deterrent Spray
Simply mix fresh rosemary or rosemary oil with water to create an effective cat deterrent spray to use outdoors.
3. Citrus Cat Deterrent Spray
Citrus scents are notoriously hated by cats! So, add citronella oil or freshly squeezed lemon to water for a simple cat deterrent. As an added bonus, a strong lemon scent will also deter mosquitoes and other pests from your garden.
4. Vinegar Cat Deterrent Spray
Apple cider vinegar and balsamic vinegar will definitely keep cats from roaming around your garden. Mixed with hand soap and water, they make a good pungent deterrent that can be used outdoors.
Bear in mind that homemade cat deterrent sprays tend to not last as long as commercially bought sprays. However, they are great short-term solutions to solve your unwanted kitty issues.
Alternatives to Cat Repellent Sprays
If cat repellent sprays aren’t for you, there are a wide variety of other options for you to consider:
- Ultrasonic cat repellents: These devices come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. They work by emitting a high-pitched sound that’s unpleasant for cats. They are generally waterproof and come in either battery-powered or solar-powered varieties.
- Granular or dust cat deterrents: These products are designed to be sprinkled over flower beds to deter cats. They are generally cheaper than other repellents. However, their effectiveness can be reduced by bad weather such as rain and snow.
- Cat Scat Mats: These are durable outdoor mats that can be placed over flower beds to prevent cats from digging up your soil. However, they only work in the specific area they are placed in.
Plants: The scent of certain plants, such as lavender, are not liked by cats. So, by planting these in your garden, you can deter stray cats from entering. Other options include lemon thyme, marigolds, eucalyptus, and geranium. Just ensure you do your research beforehand as certain plants are toxic to cats.
Conclusion: Using Cat Repellent Sprays to Soothe Your Cats Anxiety
Cat repellent sprays are a great way to deter other cats from your garden if their presence is causing your cat stress. However, bear in mind that cat anxiety can be caused by a number of different issues. It can also build up over time to become chronic stress which is much harder to treat. Observe your cat regularly to determine any changes in behavior that may signify a problem. If you are concerned, it’s always best to seek the advice of a vet. Alternatively you can speak to a qualified cat behaviorist.